Omaze is an online platform designed to help people donate to charitable causes and at the same time gives them a chances to win unique experiences. Users have raised more than $130 million for various charities around the globe. In exchange for their donations, Omaze users earn extra contest entries as well as other perks.
A donation is not required to enter a contest, but it does increase the odds of winning. Each contest offers its own prize, and many of the prizes are quite luxurious. Some are even once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like having dinner with a celebrity.
Some examples of past prizes include:
- A hangout with Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament at the Seattle Pearl Jam exhibit
- An opportunity to witness the Mars Rover landing at a VIP event alongside Bill Nye
- A private meet and greet with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
- A luxurious vacation to a wellness resort in Thailand
- First-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world
- A 2020 Subaru Outback or a variety of other vehicles
These are just a few examples. Omaze is always starting new campaigns and offering new, enticing prizes. It sounds great, but how does it really work?
How Does Omaze Work?
Before Omaze, charitable organizations usually relied on fundraisers to gather the money they needed. Invitations to these fundraisers were often reserved for the rich and famous. Omaze gives everyday people the chance to flex their philanthropic muscles.
Users can enter any contest without donating, but they can earn additional entries with a donation as low as $10. The higher the donation, the more prize entries you’ll get. A percentage of the donation goes toward the prizes.
When the prize is expensive, a little over a tenth of the donation goes toward the actual charity. Omaze has received a lot of criticism over this. In response, the company founders have pointed out that 10 percent of a larger donation is still a significant amount of money. The idea is that the prizes attract people who wouldn’t usually give to charity. Therefore, even if some of the money is going toward the prizes and the company itself, the charities are still coming out ahead.
Some prizes are less expensive. In that case, Omaze gives up to 60 percent of the donation to the charity.
Is Omaze Legit?
Yes, Omaze is totally legit. The campaigns they run are done in conjuction with the designated charities and you can be sure that the celebrities involved would not lend their name to something that wasn’t above board.
Numerous Omaze winners have spoken about the prizes they won, such as this woman, who got to meet with Trevor Noah…
Or this man, who won a McLaren 570S sports car after making a $25 donation…
Since these videos are on the official Omaze Youtube channel, some people argue that the people we see could be actors. This is unlikely. For one, Omaze is a large organization, which means the government is aware of its existence. If Omaze wasn’t awarding prizes to its users, the company would be committing a federal crime. Furthermore there is no way that Trevor Noah would be involved if it wasn’t above board.
Eventhough Omaze is totally legit, that doesn’t mean every user is happy with it. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has had about 30 to date. These negative Omaze reviews generally involve technical mishaps with credit cards or other minor incidents that don’t indicate an issue with the company itself. It’s important to note that almost every major company on the planet has numerous negative reviews on the BBB. From what we can tell, it seems Omaze delivers on its promises.
Who Started Omaze?
Ryan Cummins and Matt Pohlson launched Omaze in 2012. They created the company with the belief that it should be okay for charitable organizations to market themselves.
Where is Omaze Based?
The company is based in Los Angeles, California.
Is Omaze Tax Deductible?
All Omaze donations go through Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFA), which is a tax-exempt public charity. CAFA uses the donations to fund grants for the various charitable organizations.
Since CAFA is an official charity, donations made through Omaze are tax deductible to the extent the law allows. However, if a user’s donation earns an experience perk, the value of the perk will be subtracted. This means that if you donate $100 and earn a perk that is worth $75, your tax-deductible donation will be $25.
Are There Any Omaze Scams?
There are many people online claiming that Omaze is a scam. Most of them are saying this because they don’t like the way the company works, or they feel the company doesn’t give enough money to the charities. This doesn’t mean it’s a scam. None of the charitable organizations involved with Omaze have a problem with the company. Perhaps this is because Omaze attracts users who wouldn’t make a donation otherwise.
We couldn’t find evidence of any Omaze scams. However, it’s always important to be cautious when donating money online. Before you donate through Omaze, make sure you’re on the official website. Some scams involve fake websites which mimic legit sites like omaze.com in a way that allows the scammer to phish passwords or steal credit card information. It’s always wise to be mindful of what you’re doing online.
What Are the Chances of Winning an Omaze Prize?
Every contest is different, so there isn’t a single figure we can offer regarding your chances of winning. Omaze claims that every user has an “equal chance” of winning, but we can’t see how this could be true. It makes more sense to believe that the more you donate, the higher your odds will be.
Are Omaze Promo Codes Legit?
There isn’t a lot of official information online about the legitimacy of Omaze’s promo codes. That said, a reddit user discovered that you can enter any word along with the numbers 50, 150, or 200, and the promo code will go through. For example, you can enter “Starlight200” and earn 200 entries.
We tested this ourselves and found that it was true. There is no way to verify whether we actually earned these 200 entries, but the website claims we did. Based on this information, the promo code system seems to be quite broken.
How Can You Contact Omaze Support?
You can access information and find frequently asked questions at the Omaze Support Center. You can also email the company using email@example.com.
How Does Omaze Make Money?
Omaze makes money by collecting a 20 percent fee on net raises from their experience campaigns. This is inline with other organizations that support charities with fundraising.
Based on our research, we believe Omaze is a legitimate company. That doesn’t mean it’s an ideal way to donate to charity, but with a few minor exceptions, the company does appear to be doing what they claim.
If you’re interested in one of Omaze’s prizes, it makes sense to make donations through the company. If your primary goal is to make sure more of your money goes toward your charity of choice, it’s best to donate to the charity directly.